A: Off Mt Aspiring Rd, Lake Wanaka

    PO Box 550, Wanaka 9343

T: 021 342 187 (Volunteer sessions, Nursery)

E: (other enquiries)



John & Jill Blennerhassett

Sargood Bequest

© Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust


Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust is a Wanaka community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin (Upper Clutha region) and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration. We work with local community groups, schools, organisations & businesses in the effort to promote hands-on community land care. 


Nursery Sessions - Nursery volunteer days are open to all members of the public and are held every Tuesday & Wednesday from 9am-12pm (Spring/Summer) and 1pm-4pm (Autumn/Winter). These volunteer sessions teach propagation/cultivation techniques, leading on to planting and nurturing of the young plants in the wild and are guided by our Nursery Manager. We provide Venus coffee, tea and snacks for all our volunteers and you also get the chance to soak in the views on our deck.


Planting Projects - Each year, we identify and undertake habitat restoration projects to create islands of new native bush and enrich existing areas to provide precious habitat for our local wildlife. Work at these planting projects takes the form of maintenance days (watering and weeding) and planting days (putting the plants into the ground). Project days are on Saturdays with maintenance during the summer and planting between May and November. Dates are advertised in the calendar below and in the Wanaka Messenger and Wanaka App.



Look at us now!

Our nursery expansion takes shape with perimeter fencing and groundwork complete. Next steps - irrigation system and wind protection. Exciting times.  Thanks to all involved.

TUFT and Puzzling World


Do you like the TUFT sticker?

Those wearing them have visited Puzzling World and contributed to their “Top Up For Trees” (TUFT) programme that Puzzling World launched recently to raise funds for Te Kākano.

Visitors can choose to pay an extra $1 on their admission and this comes directly to Te Kākano.  They receive a sticker and the satisfaction of helping our local habitat.

We are hugely appreciative of being the recipients of such a scheme and delighted that our values appeal to Duncan and his team at Puzzling World.  Their TUFT programme helps raise our profile as well as funds.

Puzzling World are also sponsoring our next planting at Diamond Lake – fantastic local support, thank-you.

Check out our new logo!

After 10 years since Te Kakano’s inception, we felt it was time to give our logo a fresh new look.
We have worked with Simon Larkin from Larkin Design, based here  in Wanaka, and have developed a logo that we think showcases well what we do.
We are proud of it and hope you will like it as much as we all do!

Funding Achieved for Nursery Expansion Stage 1


How exciting to announce that we now have the funds to achieve stage 1 of the nursery expansion. 

We wish to acknowledge direct funding from the Sargood Bequest, The Longview Environmental Trust, the Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust.  Their support is invaluable and has enabled the project to proceed.

We are currently working towards having contracts in place to start work as soon as practical with a target of being completed by October. 

We would like to acknowledge again the in-kind support from local businesses The Roading Company and Urban Reset Design

We also thank the Blennerhassets for granting us the use of a little more of their land as we push the nursery boundaries out further.

Update on the Riparian Planting Project

Last year we announced that Te Kākano had partnered with the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust to lead and commence Riparian planting for the Wanaka Water project, funded under the Ministry for the Environment's Freshwater Improvement Fund.  Time for an update!

The plantings that took place at the Glendhu Wetland Wildlife Refuge were part of that project. Our involvement means we will be planting 24,000 plants over the five year life of this project.  Yes, this is a lot of plants, but we have processes in place to handle the numbers and our community plantings remain our core focus.

We continue to use plants eco-sourced from within this region to ensure everything we do supports the traditional biodiversity of the region. Local nurseries, Matukituki Natives and Pukerau are providing plants where we cannot meet the demand.

We have developed site selection criteria to determine the suitability of potential locations against the prime objective of water quality improvement, and an MOU between parties for selected sites.  Such sites include those administered by our traditional partners QLDC and DOC, as well as some stream sides and wetlands on private land that feed into the rivers or lakes. Aspiring Environmental, have been developing Land Environment Plans with farmers around the lakes and are helping identify potential sites, and QLDC is helping identify areas for mitigating urban runoff impacts.

Te Kākano staff and volunteers have been busy propagating enough plants of suitable species, organising the planting and initial maintenance of these plants.  This work will be ongoing and where the numbers are beyond the Trust’s scope we will contract out plantings. Where a site is on private land, we will most likely use contractors to do the planting.

We believe that delivering the Wanaka Water Project helps us further enhance our ability to improve the biodiversity of the area through connecting people with the land.

Tagged for Monitoring

Some of our plants are now tagged so we can monitor growth at certain sites.  These tags are important, so when you are walking, watering, weeding or planting:

- if you find a tag that is not on a plant, please record where it is, the tag number and advise us.  

- if you find a dead or poorly performing plant that is tagged then leave the plant and tag in place, record where it is, the tag number and advise us.

We wish to thank Chris Kielgaard, Helen Clarke and Martin Unwin, for designing and implementing the monitoring system for us. We appreciate the time they have given us, and recognise we are fortunate to benefit from their hard work.

They have chosen one wet, one dry and one intermediate site for “intensive monitoring”.  At each of these sites 100 – 150 plants are tagged and at 1,2 and 5 years from planting, the trunk radius, height, wellness and mulching are measured and recorded.

Other sites have been selected for “standard monitoring”. At these we record the number and species planted, and take photos at specific photo-points.  At years 1 and 2 we recount the plants and take further photos.

The monitoring enables us to formalise what we know and have evidence to support our knowledge, and meet our recording obligations to funders.  It also gives new funders confidence in us.



Nursery Sessions

Every Tues & Wed


October 1 - March 31: 9am - 12

April 1 - September 30: 1pm - 4pm

Planting Sessions:

Planting for 2019 is finished .... but here are other opportunities to help us.

  • You may enjoy attending a nursery session and care for the seeds and plants that we are nourishing for future planting seasons.  See above for days and times. All are welcome.

  • Watch facebook and this page for summer watering and weeding sessions.  These are important for plant survival so is as important as the initial planting.

End of Year Celebration

Sunday 8 December

Nursery 5pm


We have plenty to celebrate this year!


We are holding this year's function at the nursery, so you can all see the expansion progress.

Bring a drinking vessel, cutlery, plate, sun protection and fold up chair.
We will provide some meat for a bbq and salads. If you feel like bringing your best cake or something delicious you would like to share, feel free to do so!
We are asking you walk or bike to the nursery to limit disruption to an event at Rippon on the day. If you need a ride, please contact us.

Please, RSVP to by 30th November

Job vacancy - Nursery Manager role

Are you passionate about NZ native plants, habitat restoration and your community? Are you a people person with excellent communication skills? Are you enthusiastic about growing and planting native plants and helping to take our nursery to the next level? You may be who we are looking for!

We have a contract role for 15-20 hours per week supporting the Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust as the Nursery Manager.

The Nursery Manager role will include:

  • Managing operations within our community-based nursery

  • Seed collection and propagation

  • Managing volunteer nursery sessions and facilitating any visits such as school visits

  • Managing Te Kākano plantings

  • Coordinating and managing volunteers during nursery and planting sessions

  • Liaising with Te Kākano contractors, partners, sponsors and other stakeholders

  • Managing any operational aspects required to assist with our nursery expansion.

Experience in nursery management, with good knowledge of local native plants, and project management and strong organisation skills are all essential. A sound knowledge of the Upper Clutha region and its environment are an advantage.

Applicants must be able to work in NZ.

A Job description is available. Please send your CV and a cover letter to:

Applications close: 9th December 2019

Ecofund recognises our need

We have successfully applied to the Otago Regional Council's Ecofund and are one of the lucky recipients.
We are delighted and grateful for their support.
The ECO Fund supports community-driven projects that protect and enhance Otago's environment.
The grant will help to cover some of our daily running costs.

10 Years Strong - we are celebrating

Our 10th anniversary was celebrated at Bullock Creek with the sun shining on an enthusiastic turnout of about 70 people.  A speech or two, a commemorative planting of a beautiful matai, sponsorship from local businesses and of course a birthday cake all made for a great celebration.

Wanaka Sun Article

The News Article

Bullock Creek Video


River Story Finalist Award and Video

We are proud of the stunning sculpture we were awarded for being in the final three. Congratulations to the winners, the Oakley Creek project.

You can view a video (link below) that was made for the judging panel.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to gain more media exposure and to demonstrate what our volunteers achieve.  Many thanks again to the Cawthron Institute.




Mary Smit

Triple Glazing NZ

Sam Smoothy

Anonymous donors

Crowe Horwath